Our Patron Saint – St. Juan Diego
The parish is named after Saint Juan Diego, who was canonized by Pope John Paul II on July 31, 2002 in Mexico. Juan Diego was the indigenous Catholic layman to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in 1531. Before this time, European missionaries have not seen many conversions of indigenous people to Catholicism. After Maria appeared as a brown-skinned Aztec princess, Christianity began to spread rapidly. Saint Juan Diego became the messenger of Our Lady taking the Gospel to the Americas. He dedicated the rest of his life to prayer and served in the church that was built in honor of the Virgin.
All of this occurred before European colonies were established in what became the United States. For this reason, Our Lady of Guadalupe is known as "Our Lady of the Americas."
The feast day of Saint Juan Diego is December 9, the day he witnessed the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe. His feast is on December 12, the day his image is displayed on Juan Diego's tilma. Archbishop Vlazny chose Juan Diego as the patron saint because he is a symbol of evangelization, he is a layman and his canonization was at hand. This may be the first parish that bears his name under the title of "San Juan Diego."
The beautiful icon of San Juan Diego has been written by Br. Claude Lane, OSB. To see more of his work, visit
Tapestry of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The main image of Mary in our new church will be a tapestry of Our Lady of Guadalupe, by artist John Nava. His most famous works are the tapestries of the Los Angeles Cathedral (one image of which is Saint Juan Diego; another image is of Saint Bridget of Sweden). Father Kerns had admired a similar tapestry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey in Lafayette, Oregon, which prompted him to purchase this one for our church.
Statue of St. Juan Diego
We have a final image of San Juan Diego, who is to the right of the front garden as you enter the church.